Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ueno Zoo

Hello Everyone!

We went to the Zoo today!! I thought I'd throw some pictures in and tell you about it.
First things first. They have a Panda!!! Is that not the coolest thing ever!?!?

We went to the Ueno Zoo today for what was supposed to be a Zone P-day, only half of our district showed up, but it was sooo fun!!!

Today was spring opening day at the zoo and there was a lot of people there. Ueno is right in the middle of Tokyo so you can see for yourselves just how many people were there.

It was perfect timing though because the cherry blossoms are in full bloom today. Aren't they great? I feel lucky, this is my second spring in Japan!

The Sakura are only in bloom or a week or two before they're gone so it's pretty rare to see them unless you live in Japan. Well this e-mail doesn't have much substance to it unfortunately but I just don't have the time I did when I started it. It's P-day but I'm still a missionary and I'm still busy.

Transfer Calls this week. I'm pretty sure that Elder Tauchi and I will be together
at least one more transfer. That would be great, my Japanese is getting super good because
of him. I'll let you know what happens.
Love you all!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Getting Down to Business

Things are going great. It's starting to warm up finally. Elder Tauchi and I are breaking out the short sleeves. Kawasaki-san is doing great, he has desire to learn so hopefully he'll continue to read and meet with us. It looks like he'll miss his date by 1 or 2 weeks but only because we can't meet with him enough. He's really busy this week but we'll probably meet him Thursday and again on Sunday. If possible we'll teach him over the phone tonight, or give him homework.

People here a great at saying no. There are some who will say yes and go along with it but most people say are great about saying no. I guess it makes our job easier because if they say no then we can try with the next person right away. There are A LOT of people to talk to!! I'd say we talk to 50-ish people a day. maybe a little less since recently we're teaching more lessons than finding, which is nice.

It's crazy that there will be so many missionaries from our ward out. We currently have 140 something in Tokyo. When the mission splits both missions will have 250!   There will be a lot of missionaries in Tokyo!!  We're really excited to see what happens, I'm hoping that I can stay in Tokyo Mission. I think Elder Healy wants to go to Tokyo South. It'll be interesting to see what happens. It's a good time to be in Japan!

Lots of Love,

 P.S. I ate lunch with Elder Healy and Elder Kerr today. That was fun.

Colonel Sanders holding a Dragon Ball. I took this today in Hiroo. Make sure Nick See's this ha ha.

Takoyaki! These little round balls are battered and fried octopus and they are soooo goood! They make them the coolest way!

Pac Man: In the window of a classroom at Tokyo Tech. We were out streeting when I saw it.

The Omata Family and Friends: One of our investigators and her friends and family. We had a party where we made okonomiyaki. Chiharu the little boy is so awesome.

Gotanda: A beautiful day here in Tokyo. Like I said, Concrete Jungle. 

Part of his letter to B:

bahahah! that's so awesome! i'm so stoked for you b! the sign looks great and so does the note. haha pretty easy to understand japanese. prom ni ikimasuka? ha ha i love it. I'm gonna start writing you notes too! You gotta study it so we can have a secret language. I'm glad you got asked to prom. I like the dress it's beautiful. Have a lot of fun at the dance. the picture of you and the girls is super cute too. take care of them :) hey get after nick will you? he won't email me back. punk. Have another great week B. I love you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Fruits of Our Labors

Yakitori and Root Beer!! That's about as awesome as it get!

We decided to buy these spoils from a little bar near our apartment when we were coming back for the evening. We walk past it everyday and thought we'd give it a shot. It was fantastic. Especially after a full day of Proselyting.

This week was a turning point in Senzokuike.  Honestly it's been the busiest week of my mission thus far. It was crazy.  Tuesday we did Splits with our Zone Leaders and I went to Shibuya with Elder Hogue. (Fact: The Shibuya Elder's apartment is the most expensive Elder's apartment in the world, two companionships live there.  The Sister's apartment is the the most expensive Missionary Apartment in the world that being said they aren't incredibly nice apartments, it's just the location. Shibuya is an Expensive place.) Elder Hogue and I knew each other before the mission and were in the same group in the MTC so it was a lot of fun to get together with him. We dendoed (janglish) in Hiiro which is where the temple is and we did it all in English. Shibuya has 2 areas just like Senzokuike but it also has 6 missionaries. Japanese proselyting eisters and elders and then English proselyting elders. It was a lot of fun. Elder Hogue is one of my heroes and it was a blast working with him. I learned a lot. I still feel like I'm learning at a crazy fast rate and that it isn't fast enough but the difference now I think is that I can really focus on the important things I need to learn, like stuff for lessons.  When we split back with our companions and went back to our respective areas Elder Tauchi and I were talking and decided that we needed to work harder. That we were doing a good job but that for the next 3 weeks we were going to go the "Extra Mile." We were both pumped after splits and from then we've been going like crazy all week. And it's paying off! We found 3 new investigators this week and a man we met on Thursday, Kawasaki-San, has a baptismal date! We're excited! Hopefully we can continue to see Miracles this week as well. Next P-day is Temple day so my e-mail will likely be very small and it'll come on Tuesday.

Take Care!  I love you all!

Monday, March 4, 2013

"The Lord Uses The Unlikey To Do The Impossible"

Well this week was a fantastic week in a lot of ways.  I'll give you the little things first!
This week Elder Hamada, one of our APs came to our Area and helped us out, then did some training! We really learned how to more effectively use our time and the Area Book! From here on out i think we'll be more effective in this Area It's hard when Elder Tauchi is busy as a district leader, but it's also a good thing. We're really working on using our time wisely. We have a lot because at the moment we don't have a lot of investigators or lessons, but we're building our pool of potential investigators and many seeds have been planted. This week will be a week full of miracles I think. Every week in the mission is.
I still can't get over Japan! There is so much to do here and to learn and to eat! I feel like I'm in an endless vault of information and I cannot possibly absorb it all. I mean I love learning, But I've never felt so defeated by the thought that I can't learn everything. It's strange. Did you know that every prefecture has it's own style of ramen? Like Kushuu ramen and Kanto Ramen and Sapporo Ramen etc.. There is like 100's of kinds!! I want to try them all!! And Japanese! Japanese is the coolest language! It's so incredibly hard! It definitely helps to have a japanese companion! I almost sound japanese again. The problem is the more i learn the language the more i realize I hardly know it.  At what point do you consider yourself fluent? It dunno it's all very new to me.   I'm used to learning at a much slower rate.  

The next awesome thing was on Saturday. We went to a gym with Shuho. He's the area's most recent convert and he's awesome!! He loves weight training and we've been tryng to do something with him forever! So we went to the Oasis Gym and it was crazy! Membership is 200 ish dollars a month!! They have this machine that sends a pulse through your body and uses a scale to take all these measurements, then tells you where your biggest muscle groups are and how much you have, Weight, height, BMI, water content and fat content etc... It was nuts!! And then we did a whole bunch of insane weight training with Shuho and oh man.. I hurt!! It was great though and after we went to a place called "Soul Foods" which is this little tiny restaurant and had steak curry rice. Seriously delicious!!!  All the best food is in the hard to find places!!  That was the second most exciting thing this week.
The Most exciting thing was.....Ready?....
A special mission conference with Elder Russel M Nelson!!!
We had the opportunity to shake his hand and then listen to him speak along with his wife and Elder Ringwood and his wife.
I learned a lot. More than I can throw into one e-mail but i can tell you about one thing he said.
"The Lord Uses the Unlikely to do The Impossible"  We all face challenges and difficulties and we all have times we want to quit. A lot of people feel "normal" that there is nothing special about them. It's those people that often are called to do great things. Being a missionary is a Wonderful Calling and I'm grateful for the opportunity.  Knowing how hard it was for me to go on a mission I empathise with those who can see this letter and are either preparing to leave or choosing not to go on missions.
It isn't easy. But it's what YOU have been called to do. You are the Unlikely and you have been called to do the impossible.
Thank you again everyone for your love and support.  Sorry for the grammatical and Spelling errors, there isn't often enough time to spell check before sending my e-mails!
I love you all
Elder Howard

Steak Curry Rice


 Elder Tauchi in Soul Foods